Michigan's cultural traditions are a treasured resource to be nurtured for future generations. The Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program encourages cultural preservation, pride, and respect of these traditions through grants of $2,000 made to master artists to teach their skills, techniques, and knowledge to others in their communities.
The intent of this program is to recognize those master artists who maintain their traditions with excellence and according to the needs and aesthetics of their communities and to encourage and facilitate the learning and transmission of valued traditions.
An apprenticeship is a designated period of one-on-one training during which a student (the apprentice) learns a tradition through practical, hands-on experience under the guidance of a respected, accomplished traditional artist (the master).
A panel of invited specialists reviews the applications in early January. They look for strong evidence of excellence of mastery of art form (including recognition of the artist within their community), a description of the tradition and the community in which it is situated, evidence of the commitment of the master artist and apprentice to the apprenticeship, appropriateness of the plan of work, and what the prospective apprentice's motivations and intentions are in undertaking this joint effort.
Review panel meetings are open to the public. Announcements of the awardees are made in the second week of February. All apprenticeships must be completed by August 15 of the year in which they were awarded.
The Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program is administered by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program. It was established with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and is sustained through a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.